Well...it's been 9 years and whilst at times I thought it was great to have access to everyone and everyone had access to me I've decided that the Facebook application and the myriad of services it control are no longer for me...in as much as I'm now limiting my interactions to pushing content out, inviting connections back and staying off the like button.
As a good friend has said to me repeatedly through the past in a number of ways - "...you cant change the privacy settings on other people...expect your shared information always to be public...protect your privacy at all cost....do not share anything you can live by...you cant "unfriend" those people who care about you...even those people you trust without question are in some way unwittingly usually going to pass on information to other people about you even though you object to that happening."
That applies online and offline.
In general, be responsible for yourself and protect your own privacy first, only ever sharing what is useful or what you feel makes up your own personal as political....in other words, use it as a tool of communication not mindless addiction.
That's pretty much been the motto of my life although I found this tool was pushing it to the brink.
I'm heartened to read that others have had the same epiphany of awareness... yet they have done so a long time prior to me - http://www.gaggl.com/2011/11/facebook-good-riddance/
My only regret is the time I wasted whilst I could have been engaged in my research and even more importantly with my Family and friends in more affirming ways. Perhaps I'll discover better ways to use Facebook s others have pointed out too and in that regard I'm prepared to stick it out and see where it leads but not lead it lead me there.
For those who are curious as to why I did make this decision to slow down on the Facebook posts the list below provides just a few of the reasons why I've decided to remove Facebook entirely from my mobile devices, from my computer and from my life as much as possible.
Note - I've switched accounts and killed a few before in the past too. As a young woman once famously said to me - "....even I have the right to be hypocritical."
- Information Architecture - It is built into the very architecture of my mobile phone and I cant remove it entirely from the operating system - bad juju - in fact everywhere I look that blue-symbol appears plastered over everything which in itself is what I objected to with so many other marketing symbols through time;
- Alerts - the application is constantly and insidiously becoming part of my auditory reactionary behaviour - I found myself constantly responding to sounds like the Facebook notifier even when the sound wasn't at all from the application;
- Time waste - I think I must have been looking at the phone every couple of minutes from the moment I woke up to the moment I laid my head to rest at night and even then I still was looking at Facebook updates all night too...god damn it...I think I was also answering messages in my sleep!
- Family - I find that my Family were embarrassed by most of my personal postings, were confounded at times with my postings (being open and honest!) and in general wanted me to stop posting altogether as I moved through differing head spaces or growing times across that 9 year period....much of what I posted didn't help anyone and most importantly it certainly didn't help myself I admit;
- Friends - the whole "like" phenomena means that others could show a "like" but not make comments or even be bothered to say anything at all...eventually I couldn't care less who liked anything only those that commented and found myself "unfriending" those who didn't comment....argh...what a crappy form of social connection...in fact, I found myself "liking" things that my friends hadn't liked at all....they were in fact thin-veiled adware for products that my real friends or Family hadn't even liked!!!!! LIES.....DISTRUSTFULL RUBBISH MARKETING!!!
- Social life - I found myself speaking of Facebook as an actual topic of conversation with others rather than it just being a tool I used to connect with others - the whole creep across society has been profound and worrying;
- Inane Shite - The majority of what I found written in Facebook even from the most literate and admirable of my "friends" was inane, uninteresting and mindless gibberish - the colossal waste of human energy pushing around affirmation messages and sexist man-hating rubbish is astounding
There is a list of course of all the affirmative things I found it did for me - but in general they would be more than a few points that would be obvious ie. being able to contact someone who isn't answering their phone, knowing their birthday and being reminded to post a four word "happy birthday" message or isn't on other social platforms.....engrossed and locked into Facebook!!
Here are some articles written in the affirmative or in fact that speak of other things that might be of interest to you:
Anyway, what I'll do instead is write a considered paper on the topic and weave it into my PhD research as part of the omniscience and pervasive effects of technology discussion. Facebook will not become the tool I thought it might be in sharing and connecting although I know it is pervasive and therefore useful in other ways.
In summary, I am relieved Facebook is going to be a much lesser part of my life and I am grateful I took the leap of faith to leave....which come to think of it that is a point in it's own right! I found many people shocked to not find me online and all worrying as to what it was they had done to offend me....which wasn't the case at all....only there own insecurities as to themselves!
Am I ok? ....most certainly....now the question is of you .....are you ok without Facebook? (or are you addicted and locked in like so many others?)
It is mid march 2016 and I have ditched the damned platform all over again and I'm not going back. I've removed the Messenger app from my phone as well.